In her totally revolutionary book “The Artist’s Way”, Julia Cameron urges all who participate to embrace the idea of a weekly “Artist’s Date”. When you schedule yourself time to go out alone and indulge in a fantasy, a creative splurge or even soul-searching endeavor you give yourself permission to both enjoy your creative nature and feed your life with inspiration. She says that these dates help you to “fill the well” of images, sensory input and wonder that will keep you creative even when you feel you might get blocked or stuck. Ready to get inspired again???
I’ve written a ton about the Artists Way, I have recommended it endlessly to clients, gifted it to friends, have done it seven times through and still, I am never bored with the tools and always digging to get more from this incredible creativity masterpiece. Here are some ideas you might not think of that you can use as Artist Dates if you want to try out the exercise:
Walk Through A Day As A Tourist (& Take Pictures): I just had a conversation with a neighbor who walks everywhere around town. In a sense he has generated a mystique in the neighborhood just by walking around instead of driving, and has an ineffable cool about him as he does so, daily. While you might not ditch your ride forever, try walking and photographing a day in your life. There is something tremendously grounding about seeing the landscape you usually speed past.
Plan A Vacation: Even if you don’t take the vacation YET, sit down and take a few hours to read up on a dream locale, put together an itinerary, pull together images of perfect landscapes… its like fantasy-travel, and a good first step to actually taking your dream trip!
Paint Your Walls: I met a man who directs films who actually painted and repainted his walls about 30 times while making his first large feature film. A day of house painting might seem like more work than fun, but if you choose color and get into it, painting can be super-creative and the effects infuse your home with new hues long after your painting day!
Get Lost In A Toy Store: Slinkies, Play Dough, Finger Paint, Simon, Rubix Cubes… can you beat classic old toys!? Nope. Go for it.
Dress Up And Go To Dinner… Alone : My friend used to do this when we were in college and I thought she was a bit pretentious for doing so… but that pretend-time is full of magic! Your favorite, incredible restaurant + a fabulous outfit= your night to enjoy!
Play With Animals: You know, you can volunteer at a local shelter to play with the animals (or foster them, even better!). Playing with animals is such a fast track to feeling great, and you are helping humanity at the same time.
And you can also: learn to cook, make a mural, spray paint a piece of furniture, actually DO a DIY you found on Pinterest, dye eggs Ukranian-style, go to the opera, plant an herb garden, learn how to make soap, go to a museum lecture, crash a party, make a self-portrait, dare yourself to get up at an open-mike to do comedy, try dancing, try to learn a new language, try to design a piece of clothing… the list is endless and will generate itself over time as you build on experiences.
Have a great time! If you do any these dates or have ideas of your own, please share! xoxo Dana
Great ideas and man, Julia Cameron has helped us all in composing that masterwork of “The Artist’s Way.”
I’m tweeting these ideas out to my followers. Love it.